our engagement story

Dale and I officially got engaged at the top of Sandia Peak on December 30, 2015. It was a beautiful winter day in the Land of Enchantment. Dale had moved down to Albuquerque that October after securing a new archeologist position at Kirtland Air Force Base. He was in the process of buying our home and still living in an Airbnb due to some unforeseen complications. Let me just put it out there that buying a house is nothing like they show you on HGTV. 

We had picked out my ring a month earlier when we traveled to St. George and Salt Lake City to visit his family for Thanksgiving. Dale's Grandpa Harkness (his mom's dad) was an amateur jeweler and bought and sold jewelry as a hobby. When he passed away Dale's Aunt Shirley became the keeper of his ring collection. 

Sitting at Aunt Shirley and Uncle Larry's kitchen table I got to try on multiple vintage rings--a true fantasy come true. I really wanted a vintage ring and the fact that my ring was in Dale's family so to speak made it that much more special. It came down to two rings and ultimately I went with a gorgeous art deco platinum ring from the 1930s. Dale said it was the one he would have picked if I wasn't there, which made me happy. 

By that time we obviously knew we would be getting engaged but Dale wanted to make sure our engagement was special and not just give me my ring and call it good. He wanted us to get engaged somewhere we could visit again and bring our kids to one day. When he shared this with me, I honestly was a little sad and even shed some tears. I had thought I would be flying back to Spokane with a ring on my finger and would finally get to announce to the world that I had a fiance'. Patience has never been my forte. But like so many things in our courtship, I'm glad I had to wait and that we did it the right way.

After Christmas, I flew from Spokane to Albuquerque so I could spend New Year's with Dale. I knew he would be proposing at some point during this trip but had no idea when or how. When he suggested we take the famed Sandia Peak Tramway up the mountain I had an inkling this might finally be it. 

We walked around the busy peak for a while and took some photos of the gorgeous scenery. Eventually Dale started to lead me off the path to a secluded clearing. It was there that he got down on one knee, pulled the ring box out of his pocket, and asked me to marry him. I said yes (I think a couple of times) and he put the ring on my finger. We were finally engaged! 

I couldn't stop smiling and kept staring at my hand and how the diamonds sparkled against the snow. We went to the busy lodge for hot chocolate and then had to wait several hours to take the tram back down the mountain. The waiting area was over crowded and at times there was no place to sit but I didn't care. I had my man and my ring and nothing could dampen my mood.  

I've told Dale many times since that I love how my ring symbolizes how I feel about him because it's better than anything I could have ever imagined on my own and fits me perfectly--just like him. Every day I feel privileged to wear it and it reminds me of the sacred bond and commitment we've made to each other. 

Marriage is a wonderful, difficult journey that I wouldn't want to make with anyone else. Neither of us is perfect but as we like to say, we're perfect for each other. 

Here are the photos from our engagement day on Sandia Peak:

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